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Meta-analysis: low vitamin D levels may relate to schizophrenia

Posted on: July 28, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council


A recent meta-analysis of several observational studies found a strong association between vitamin D status and schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by one’s inability to recognize what is real. It often results in hallucinations, false beliefs, confusion, and abnormal social behavior.

The prevalence of schizophrenia varies drastically depending on location. Schizophrenia is most commonly found in cold places and high latitudes. It is also more prevalent in people with darker skin color.

Considering vitamin D deficiency is also common in regions of high latitude and among people with darker skin types, this suggests a role for vitamin D in the risk and development of schizophrenia.

There have been several longitudinal studies that have evaluated the association between vitamin D levels and schizophrenia, but a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies has never been conducted.

Researchers recently conducted the first meta-analysis of longitudinal studies concerning vitamin D status and schizophrenia. They reviewed 19 longitudinal studies published between 1988 and 2013 that investigated the link between vitamin D status and schizophrenia.

Of the 2,804 participants from these studies, 65.3% of the participants with schizophrenia were vitamin D deficient. The research team found that vitamin D deficient participants were 2.16 times more likely to have schizophrenia than vitamin D sufficient participants.

The researchers concluded, “Based on the findings of this meta-analysis, we found a strong association between vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia.”

The researchers call for clinical trials using vitamin D supplementation to confirm the link between vitamin D status and schizophrenia.


Valipour, Saneei, & Esmaillzadeh. Serum Vitamin D Levels in Relation to Schizophrenia : A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2014.

4 Responses to Meta-analysis: low vitamin D levels may relate to schizophrenia

  1. Rita and Misty

    I wonder about the common genetic link between schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and autism with respect to vitamin D.

  2. [email protected]

    Here are additional reasons to believe that Schizophrenia is related to low vitamin D
    (Vitually) all patients with schizophrenia are vitamin D deficient
    Schizophrenia varies with latitude (UVB) by 10X (controversy)
    Schizophrenia is more common in those with dark skin (when away from the equator)
    Schizophrenia has been increasing around the world when vitamin D has been decreasing (controversy)
    Schizophrenia is associated with low natal vitamin D
    Schizophrenia is associated with low birth rate, which is associated with low vitamin D
    Schizophrenia is associated with Autism which is associated with low vitamin D
    Schizophrenia Bulletin Editorial (Jan 2014) speculated that Vitamin D could be a major player in prevention of Schizophrenia
    Schizophrenia increased 40 % for Spring births after Danes stopped vitamin D fortification
    Details at http://vitamindwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page_id=2985

  3. [email protected]

    Just two studies are in both Cognition and Genetics categories on VitaminDWiki
    Alz and Schizophrenia http://vitamindwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page_id=3401

    Autism is also strongly related to Genetics

  4. Rita and Misty

    There is research pointing to schizophrenia starting in the womb:


    I wonder about Schizophrenia’s connection to other brain conditions such as autism and bi-polar disease; and of course, I wonder of the beneficial impact vitamin D might have upon these diseases–particularly if they do commence in the womb. So simple to prescribe a vitamin D supplement to an expectant mom.

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